Zhang Xiaotao, a long-distance runner, was among the top runners in the women’s Ultramarathon. China in which 21 people have died from hypothermia After it was submerged by freezing rain and hit by storms on a mountain path.
Of the six front runners, Zhang was the only survivor of Saturday’s disaster in the mountains above the Yellow River in northwest China. After recovering from his ordeal, the 29-year-old runner narrated how he found an unconscious pastor and saved him.
Video: 21 dead in an adventure race in China
“I pressed SOS on my GPS tracker and lost consciousness,” wrote Zhang on Weibo, a small Twitter-like blog popular in China.
“I was unconscious on the mountain for about two and a half hours, until a priest passed by and carried me to a cave. He lit a fire and wrapped me in the comforter. After about an hour, I woke up.”
He added, “I am very grateful to the great man who saved me, because without him, I would have remained there. I will never forget the new life he gave me!”
Zhang said that despite his fatigue, he was unable to sleep on Saturday night as he was waiting for news from his fellow runners.
Of the 172 participants who left for the 100km race on Saturday morning, 151 survived. The last of the 21 victims were found dead on Sunday morning. Two of the Marathon elite were among the dead.